As my fellow Offender Anderson already blogged, the producers of the upcoming reboot of Red Dawn are making “tweaks” to their film to change the race of the invading enemy force from the Chinese to the North Koreans. Why? Because the movie’s producers have ostensibly realized that China is apparently a fairly powerful country and, among other things, represents huge potential profits for Hollywood. Well, provided you don’t piss them off by making a movie that—I don’t know—shows the Chinese as evil villains out to conquer America through military force.
Really? You’re just realizing this now? I wonder if the folks behind Red Dawn also realize that the earth orbits around the sun, women have the right to vote and there’s this new invention called the internet? ‘Cause I’d get it if China had been some backwards third world nation and only just now turned into the world’s biggest superpower after they found the lamp where the genie from Aladdin just happened to be residing, but the truth is—China was a superpower who didn’t like people fucking with them back in 2009 (when Red Dawn went into production) and it’s still a superpower who doesn’t like people fucking with them now.
So I guess the point I’m trying to make is that a 12-year-old could’ve told you two years ago that if you make a movie and your bad guy is pretty much the entire country of China, the Chinese are going to be pissed. Yet, all these grown and educated adults with millions of dollars at their disposal couldn’t figure that out? No wonder MGM, the studio behind the picture, is in the crapper. To quote our modern day Socrates, Charlie Sheen–you guys needed to PLAN BETTER!
Red Dawn’s been a troubled production from the start and I don’t mean to kick it some more while it’s down. After all, it’s already been repeatedly attacked by Asian Americans for its racial insensitivity, by liberal defenders of artist’s rights for caving into business pressures and even by conservatives for abandoning its conservative idealism. I love this review of the film from the right-wing Libertas film magazine that was posted last Thursday after the news of Red Dawn’s race change broke. Writer Jason Apuzzo, who saw and loved the film in its original “uncensored” incarnation, was so outraged at this latest news that he not only wrote an early review of the film after promising the studio not to, but goes into detail about the plot and why this change is idiotic and would make no sense:
The basic premise of the film involves the Chinese invading America in order to ‘collect’ on an economic debt America owes to them–a debt that in the real world, as it turns out, China will now be ‘collecting’ by MGM’s film simply being re-edited.
So what debt would North Korea be trying to collect to justify attacking the United States? Maybe Kim Jong-Il wants revenge against America for making him look bad in Team America: Dream Police?
What’s even more “interesting” was the statement released by Red Dawn producer Tripp Vinson on Friday addressing all the flak the film’s been receiving in the wake of this announcement. The full text of his statement follows and, gosh golly, I guess we were all wrong about the producers’ intentions. The decision to alter the villains from Chinese to North Korean wasn’t apparently driven by business concerns, but because they consulted with “really smart people” who felt North Korea would be a more realistic and scarier threat. Why, who would’ve guessed? But since these were “really smart people,” well, I suppose they have to be right. Right? But let Mr. Vinson break it down for y’all:
I know there is a lot of interest and questions as to the changes announced regarding Red Dawn.
This movie has been rebooted because the filmmakers all love the original movie. The experience of seeing Red Dawn as a young boy in the middle of a Cold War, was life changing for me and a generation. I assure you that everyone involved with the reboot is keenly aware of the responsibility of delivering a movie that can stand eye to eye with the original.
The changes made to Red Dawn in the last few weeks were made in consultation with military think tanks and people that specialize in game theory. Really smart people that spend their days constructing doomsday scenarios for our military and government. The type of people that know the limitations of the North Korean military. The type of people that can project a series of events that could lead to some very scary things happening to our Country. I can assure you, we listened well to those people, especially with regards to the capability of the North Korean military.
Red Dawn isn’t for everyone. So, if you are interested in seeing a movie filled with preachy political discussions – Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you love movies in which Americans are the bad guys – Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you get emotional watching daytime television – Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you’re a vegetarian – Red Dawn probably ain’t for you.
But! If you like meat with your potatoes, muscle cars that roar, tanks, guns and things blowing the fuck up by American’s kicking some Commie ass – then we have something special coming your way.
So I guess the message here is–if you’re an inbred hick who can’t tell the difference between a Chinese commie or a North Korean commie and just want to see other inbred hicks kicking some form of Asian commie ass, well then by God, Red Dawn is the movie for you! So take your special date (a.k.a. your sister or your mother or other female blood relative) for a good ole time and maybe you’ll get some afterwards.
And ultimately, isn’t that what this is all about? Because the truth is, we can bitch all we want about Red Dawn’s xenophobia or it’s inability to distinguish one Asian group from another or even the sheer ridiculousness of its plot, but the reality is–there are still a lot of movie-goers who don’t give a flying fuck about any of that; who’ll support the film ‘cause they simply want to see some American ass-kicking and who cares whose ass is being kicked as long as they look like the enemy.
The recent release of the new Homefront video game (which also features a North Korean invasion of the U.S.) and the huge box office success of the Australian film Tomorrow, When The War Began, which also features a group of teens (this time Down Under) who fight off an invading force of unspecific Asian “Mongolians”, proves that we can’t underestimate the potential of a work like Red Dawn. Whether Chinese or North Koreans, the threat of an Asian invasion is obviously very real. At least when it comes to box office profits.